Text messages have been sent to young people in the Brussels district of Molenbeek asking them to ‘fight westerners.’
BY ELLIOT FRIEDLAND
Wed, March 30, 2016
Chilling text messages urging young people to “fight westerners” were sent on Sunday to young people in the Brussels district of Molenbeek.
Molenbeek is the Brussels district that was home to the Islamic State linked jihadists behind the Brussels attacks on Tuesday March 22 and the Paris attacks on November 13 2015. The Guardian wrote that it has become known as “Europe’s Jihadi Central.”
In November 2015 the Belgian Home Affairs Minister said the government does not “have control of the situation in Molenbeek.”
Sunday’s text, from a prepaid number that could not be replied to read “My brother, why not fight the westerners? Make the right choice in your life.”
The texts followed the reported dissemination online of an Islamic State video purporting to show young people celebrating the Brussels attacks. A music video in French gloating about the attack was widely shared by ISIS supporters.
Other ISIS videos released since the attack show Europe shaking.
“These people are trying to take our youth by storm,” Local MP Jamal Ikazban, for the Socialist Party, told the Guardian.
“It is like having a big-time drug dealer outside the school gates. We feel the same. They have to be taken off the streets. They are predators and our youths are the victims.”
Yet so far the Belgian authorities have proven powerless to act against recruitment in Molenbeek. Serious efforts are needed to uproot the radical ideology that has taken hold in sections of Molenbeek and to systematically dismantle the networks which are targeting vulnerable youth for Islamic State recruitment.
If the government does not act it is foolish to assume that others will not take the matter into their own hands.
An “Expel the Islamists” demonstration in Molenbeek is already scheduled for Saturday April 2 by an anti-immigration, anti-multiculturalism group calling itself “Generation Identitaire.”